Hemant Mehta, aka The Friendly Atheist, has written a post characterizing “The Slymepit” as “online forum that frequently criticizes and mocks (PZ MYERS) and is populated by people he deems trolls (even though they correctly uncovered plagiarism on his blog network).” The Slymepit, in fact, is a forum that was created specifically to host hate speech directed toward me and other feminists after National Geographic refused to allow blogger Abbie Smith to host a discussion about what a cunt I am on their servers. For the past several years it has served as a place for misogynist atheists to gather and circlejerk over how much they hate me, PZ Myers, and other outspoken feminists.
Mehta wrote this in support of Michael Nugent, a man who has, bizarrely, been obsessed with PZ Myers for the past year or so, writing an inordinate number of long essays chastising him for every out-of-context insult he ever uttered about anyone. The most recent was inspired by PZ daring to criticize Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who recently told American gays and lesbians that the worst thing that could happen to them in the US is being refused cake. PZ pointed out that she was mimicking other conservatives, who exploit atrocities (in this case, the murder of gays and lesbians outside the US) to “justify continued injustices” (in this case, the murder of and bigotry against gays and lesbians in the US). It was a remarkably mild condemnation in relation to the utter ignorance of Ali’s statement, but Nugent and Mehta feel that it’s enough to call for PZ’s banning from all future Atheist Ireland events.
The entire thing is incredibly sad to me, as I quite liked Nugent when I met him years ago, and it’s been seriously embarrassing to see him become more and more obsessed with PZ over the past year while allowing his blog to be overrun by the bigots and rape apologists of the Slymepit, who finally found a prominent voice in atheism that would give them a platform in the comments. This will likely be my first and only comment on Nugent’s behavior, because I can’t imagine that giving his obsession with PZ more attention is at all healthy for him. I hope he finds a way to stop stalking and lashing out at other atheists and gets back to the good work that he was previously doing to fight for secularism in Ireland and elsewhere.
And I hope Mehta figures out what the word “friendly” means and how it relates to a forum for abusing women online.